Whiskey ratings below 3 stars - pass 3 stars - decent 3.5 - baseline 3.75 - above average...explore 4 stars - buy 4.25 - best in show 4.5 - all-star 4.75-5 - legendary
Redbreast 12 Year
Single Pot Still — IrelandTastedNose: bready and light, the unmalted barley really helps offset the overly yeasty nose that many single malt scotches exhibit, hints of oak, vanilla, caramel and honey The nose and palate both are quite bright while also maintaining a complexity and richness. Palate: quite rich, as the age really shines in those oloroso sherry casks, and the single pot still opens up those grains; very balanced, and not too malty, nice vanilla spices and hints of citrus Finish: medium but the 80 proof drizzles down very smoothly. One of the richest 80-proof whiskeys you’ll taste. It’s quite impressive. This is also a great starter whiskey for bourbon fans to try when they want to branch out.65.0 USD per BottleLiquor Barn
Woodford Reserve Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedPlaced firmly with what I like to call the staples of bourbon, Woodford Reserve is a great daily sipper; it’s always reliable and good for bourbon newcomers. It sits alongside the other staples of the price point: Elijah Craig, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Makers Mark and Wild Turkey. These five bourbons are a great introduction to high and low rye mashbills, wheaters and non. All are very approachable and reliable. Nose: vanilla, oak, hints of citrus. Palate: slight ethanol, but creamy enough to show off some brown sugar flavors and more vanilla and some baking spices. Finish: short to medium — the proof and age won’t win any complexity contests but this is a great definition of a classic standard bourbon
Wilderness Trail Bourbon Whiskey Family Reserve
Bourbon — Kentucky , USATastedNose: vanilla, toasted marshmallows, corn Palate: some ethanol but that quickly fades to mint, hints of maple syrup and more vanilla Finish: medium, but that’s more due to the ethanol proof and not the complexity of flavors The 2018 Wilderness Trail bottled in bond was great. It was akin to Makers 46. This single barrel pick (Liquor Barn, 2019, #4 char, Rickhouse B W0107, yeast strain FermPro-1) is lackluster compared to last years BiB release. Will revisit.65.0 USD per BottleLiquor Barn
Sazerac Straight Rye
Rye — Kentucky, USATastedNose: toffee, honey and tobacco Palate: hints of maple, clove, cinnamon, mint Finish: short, with lingering cinnamon, tease of eucalyptus
Hancock's President's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: toasty corn, almost peaty, with hints of brown sugar, and baking spices — essentially Blanton’s light with more smoke/toast Palate: sweet vanilla and a bit spicier and not as smooth as Blanton’s Finish: medium with some bite. This reminds me of the discontinued Ancient Ancient Age 10-year. Although it’s not as refined because it’s not as old. You can’t find this very often. But it’s not a bad thing. This is likely the lower tier leftovers of the Blanton’s stock.
Whistlepig 10 Year Straight Rye
Rye — (bottled in) Vermont, CanadaTastedNose: bright, with vanilla, spices, orange citrus and hints of lemon citrus and caramel Palate: honeydew with cinnamon, more vanilla Finish: medium, easy finish for a 100-proof rye. Slice balances with sweet fruits and vanilla
Very Old Barton 100 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedTremendous value until they discontinued the bottled in bond version of this. A fantastic rye-heavy bourbon mash that most whiskey lovers could appreciate. Nose: banana nut bread, corn, oak, butterscotch Palate: quite rich for such an inexpensive bourbon (probably why they pulled it, so they can release later at a higher price point)... balances mix of light fruits, mint, tea, maple syrup, orange citrus and vanilla Finish: pretty short, but there’s an extra kick of cinnamon in there
W.L. Weller Antique 107
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedRecently had this in a blind tasting vs Weller 12, Maker’s 46 and Maker’s Private Selection. I was surprised that this finished fourth. (Private Selection was my first choice and second was Weller 12).
Russell's Reserve 10 Year Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedComing back to this after a week. The nose has really opened up: banana, vanilla, baking spices, leather, corn, hints of raisin Palate: creamy but drier than the sweetness of the nose would lead you to believe. Rich and balanced Finish: medium, with the zest and rye spice kick coming in nicely here. Nice experience from start to finish. Some years this 10-year shines. This one definitely rises above the bottles I had from last year’s batch in my opinion.